If you guessed “Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross,” you win…a nap? (Yup, we’re also a little disappointed it wasn’t Ben Carson.) This detail, from a Politico feature about the “disaster” at Commerce, is a rare moment of levity in a decidedly nightmarish administration:
Ross doesn’t hold routine meetings with senior staffers, according to a person familiar with the department’s inner workings and a former outside adviser — a departure from past practice that one source attributed to the secretary’s lack of stamina.
“Because he tends to fall asleep in meetings, they try not to put him in a position where that could happen so they’re very careful and conscious about how they schedule certain meetings,” said the former outside adviser. “There’s a small window where he’s able to focus and pay attention and not fall asleep.”
That’s far from the most damning detail, but it may be the funniest. Elsewhere in the feature, which is worth a read in its entirety, sources claim that chaos and infighting are the norm, and nobody has any faith in Ross because he spends all his time trying to curry favor with Trump at the White House. Additionally, “top Commerce officials” are trying to hard to avoid having Ross testify at any congressional oversight hearings because he’s so bad at it. Yet Commerce, and Ross himself, are at the forefront of the debate about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, and it may be impossible to avoid further testimony.
The mismanagement has led to a few high-profile firings and resignations, and almost everyone seems to despise Michael Walsh, Ross’ chief of staff. In other words, it’s a very Trumpian department.